Writing Meme–Three Things I’ve Learned
I’ve been tagged by CJ Darlington to take part in a writing meme (a free copy of Eric Wilson’s latest thriller, A Shred of Truth, to the first person who can give me a dictionary definition of the word “meme”). So I guess I’m up to give three things I’ve learned about writing.
One, never ever stop reading. The best way to become a better writer is to read better writers. Read with an attitude of enjoyment but with an eye to learn. Study how the craft is done, how scenes are constructed, characters developed, dialogue written.
Two, never stop writing. The road will get rough and you will want to quit. No matter how much you enjoy writing now and oh so love the freedom of expression and creation, the time will come when your beautiful masterpiece gets flat-out rejected by an agent or editor–over and over again–or an editor comes back and says, “It’s really good but . . . change this and this and this” and you will want to throw in the towel, push your computer out a window, burn any hardcopies of manuscripts you have, and cut your fingers off. Don’t do it. The feeling of being an utter waste of human flesh and a complete failure will pass. Stick with it. Press on.
Three, never stop learning. Please oh please don’t ever think you’ve arrived. You haven’t. Even the great K’s (King and Koontz) know they haven’t arrived. Strap that thinking cap on, read books about writing, scour the web for good sites on learning the craft, ask questions, experiment, fiddle and faddle with your writing, and by all means, please humble yourself.
So there you have it. I’ve taken part in a meme.